Safari on Windows

Apple released a beta version of Safari for Windows.

Good points:

  • It seems pretty fast, despite its stupid GUI (see below).
  • It loads very quickly.
  • It seems to use less memory – 25MB upon loading compared to Firefox’s 35MB and Internet Explorer’s 31MB (this was a very crude comparison, though).
  • It stole a lot of icons from Firefox, but unlike the Internet Explorer folks, they didn’t take the RSS icon.
  • It’s good for testing sites.
  • It’s Free Software (although i haven’t look at the details of plugins etc.)
  • Ctrl-T and middle-click open a new tab, which is very important (but see below).
  • Hebrew in websites seems to work correctly (but see below).

Bad points:

  • It has a very Mac-style GUI. All-gray tones, flat buttons. Despite this, the browser seems pretty fast (see above).
  • The preferences dialog doesn’t have OK, Apply and Cancel; Closing the window means OK, although in the Windows world it usually means Cancel, which is very confusing.
  • Mouse wheel doesn’t work.
  • Middle click doesn’t close an open tab, which is standard in Firefox and Internet Explorer. It’s pretty annoying.
  • Hebrew text appears in reverse in the GUI of the browser, although it appears correctly in the sites themselves.

The worst point is the mouse wheel. I use it a lot and i surely hope that it’s just a bug and not a stupid feature devised by Apple to make usage simpler (it’s all too easy to imagine Apple UI engineers say something like “Most users don’t understand how to use the mouse wheel anyway and Mac users do very well without it.”) So for me it’s a show-stopper and i’m sticking with Firefox, although it is useful for testing. Hey, i am loyal to Firefox even on Linux, where i can use Konqueror which is the origin of Safari.

A Prayer for the Intranet

O God!

Please have mercy on IT decision makers who pay money for “web application frameworks” that work only in Internet Explorer. I beg Ye: Forgive them; for they know not what they do.

Please grant Thy great gift of eyesight to the blindfold corporate webmasters who install on Intranets which were given to them for keeping “web-based workflow applications” that employ double-click as a means of interfacing with the user. Therefore, be it known to all dearly beloved webmasters: Render the double-click to desktop applications, and to web applications render the single-click. And may the mercy of God be upon ye all.

Yea, verily i say unto ye, my beloved brethren: Give not your trust to marketing people who sell ye “Intranet portals” which make use of ActiveX; For their cunning mind is not of God, and surely ActiveX is the mark of the Satan of the desktop.

O Lord, please guide your sheep unto the true path of Web Standards; For Thou have created many marvelous computer programs which can access the Internet and thus praise Thy great name.


S-P-A-C-E-D, spaced out

For the first time in my programming career i discovered a language which can have whitespace in identifier names.

Guess which language it is?

Hint: I learned it – or so i thought – long before Pascal, C and Perl, but a bit after GW-BASIC.

It’s the MS-DOS batch file language.

In all the languages i know, variable assignment operator is = or something similar (it’s := in Pascal). Any number of spaces are allowed before and after it; Curiously, in Microsoft’s own QBasic it is encouraged and even automatically inserted if you try to write something like A=42.

But in DOS batch files, if you write this:

SET A = 42

You’ll get nothing.

But this will work:

SET A = 42

And guess what, it will print ‘ 42‘, with a space in the beginning.

Wow, wow, wow, wow, unbelievable.


Vladimir Mayakovsky, the most famous poet of the Russian revolution, a rare case of an artist who had talent in addition to strong political beliefs, wrote this poem in 1914:

Ведь, если звезды зажигают –
Значит – это кому-нибудь нужно?
Значит – кто-то хочет, чтобы они были?
Значит – кто-то называет эти плевочки


After all, if someone lights up the stars –
Then – someone needs it?
Then – someone wants them to be?
Then – someone calls those gobs of spit
A pearl?

I read Vladimir Putin’s interview, where he says that it is a “true tragedy” that he is “the only true democrat in the world” and that “since Gandhi had died, there’s no-one to speak to.”

Now i’m not saying that it is especially stupid or wrong; There’s a lot of hypocrisy in the European and the American version of “democracy”, and Putin stings them nicely, accusing the US of alleged torture in Guantanamo and very rightly accusing the EU of double standards in the issues of Kosovo and Transnistria.

Still, it makes me feel uncomfortable. So the only thing i could really think of when i read it was: “After all, if the president of the largest country in the world talks bloody crap, then – someone needs it?”

If you read Russian, see also this story on Vladimir Vladimirovich™ (if you haven’t already).